Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

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BrianG
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Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby BrianG » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:47 am

Hi All.

I reactivated a stalled (stupidly) climbing passion about 2 years ago after many years in the wilderness. I'm now in my early 40's and leading routes in the low 20's and absolutely loving it. Sooo, this is my first post on this forum (and a lengthy one) but here goes.

As can be expected my body isn't what it used to be but ito injuries i'm doing pretty well. My only gripe is this: whenever i climb and particularly when i climb harder and more often I experience quite severe pins and needles in my hands when i'm sleeping and often it's accompanied by feelings of heat in the same area. It's generally slightly worse on one side than the other and it goes away if i turn over but only until the sensations reappear in the other hand (if i lie on my back i then get it in both hands. It's generally worse in the 3 outer (incl. pinkie?) fingers of the hands but can extend to all fingers.

I spoke to a Dr. climbing friend who lives in the UK last year and he mentioned an impingement syndrome which is common to climbers but i now can't get hold of him to find the name of it. Something to do with nerves over the collar bone...?

Sooo, my question is: has anyone experienced anything like this before and can you recommend any treatment and or a way forward? I mentioned it to my Physio last year while dealing with a rotator-cuff injury and she hadn't heard of it? i will see a local GP if need be but thought i might try find out a bit more first.... I've checked on the web but there's nothing that seems relevant.

Cheers, Brian.

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Wes
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby Wes » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:36 pm

A little bit of googling and I found this:

http://www.rockandice.com/articles/how- ... d-numbness

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Justin
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby Justin » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:49 pm

Hey Brian,

I've also had this. I don't think it was my climbing though...
Eating less salt and drinking less coke (i.e. less potato chips and less brandy) made it go away.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!
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andrew p
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby andrew p » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:18 pm

sounds like radial tunnel syndrome if its from the pinkie side,
there are many other causes, diabetes included.
have it checked out.
stretchng the nerve helps.
A

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brianweaver
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby brianweaver » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:29 pm

Or carpal tunnel syndrome.... I have to go for surgery to fix the problem. You can have an ultrasound done to determine the exact nature of the problem.
I hate this real world place... I'd be more than happy to live out there rather...

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Justin
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby Justin » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:31 pm

brianweaver wrote:I have to go for surgery to fix the problem.

How are your wrists doing after the surgery (when it comes to climbing)?
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brianweaver
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby brianweaver » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:40 pm

Well, I still have to go for the surgery... (typo) I have heard that my hand will make a full recovery and I should be happier after the surgery too. I'll get to sleep better :)
I hate this real world place... I'd be more than happy to live out there rather...

BrianG
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby BrianG » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:31 am

Hi Guys.

thanks for the input. i'll definitely have it checked out by a Doc. I have thought of carpal tunnel syndrome and seen some of the online articles alluded to but it doesn't quite seem to fit. pins and needles come and go only when sleeping on back and sides and swops from one hand to the other within minutes...?

will keep you updated,
cheers brian

BrianG
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby BrianG » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:37 am

So, i got some more feedback from my Doc. mate in London who is also a climber - he said:

"We talked about a cervical rib, which traps parts of your brachial plexus (nerves supplying your arm) [under collar-bone], and especially C8 distribution (smallest 1 1/2 fingers). Usually the answer is to do nothing about it, but if really problematic (AND ESPECIALLY IF WEAK) surgery may be indicated. As a rule I stay away from knife-men!"

That pretty much tally's with my issue. Since my last post I started upping my swimming (cross) training to last years levels and the pins and needles seemed to have subsided a bit but not completely. Will see how it goes.

cheers brian

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XMod
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby XMod » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:49 pm

Hi Brian, I used to get this when upping my training ante. In my case I figured it was nerve impingement and paid attention to mobilising my shoulders and upper back (mostly with yoga) as well as balancing muscle strengths around the shoulder through cross training and specific exercises given to me by the physio. It helped a lot but I did had to keep up with the exercises or the problem re-occurred. Most important was stretching everything out thoroughly after climbing to avoid the lactic acid locking everything up solid. Unfortunately at our age we gotta pay closer attention to these sort of things! :)

BrianG
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby BrianG » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:42 pm

Hi Greg. thks for the input. definitely need to stretch-down more often. it's the most neglected thing i reckon - more important than stretching before climbing. physio and yoga exercise advice sounds good too. gonna start yoga again next week. this age thing can be a bind cheers brian

BrianG
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Re: Pins and Needles in Hands from Climbing

Postby BrianG » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:16 am

the final word = Thoracic Outlet Syndrome! :wink: came across it in a rock & ice from late last year and then went to the full article at: http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/sh ... t-syndrome . tallies nicely with input from everyone. cheers, brian.


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